Two-Day Training Session Held at BMW’s U.S. Rider Academy in
Woodcliff Lake, NJ – August 28, 2014…Threatening
skies and thick, humid air did not dampen the spirits of GS Trophy
Team USA members during a special two-day training program held at BMW
Motorrad USA’s Rider Academy at the BMW Performance Center in
“Rider training at the BMW Performance Center is exceptional,”
explained lead instructor Harald Schmidt, who organized the event. “I
think the U.S. team will benefit from the skills they learned here.”
The GS Trophy, which began in 2008 and takes place every two years,
has been described as the ultimate motorcycle adventure challenge.
This year, 64 riders comprising 16 international teams will compete in
seven daily stages September 6-13 in the vast expanses of western Canada.
U.S. team members Blair Young, of Belmont, N.C.; Bobby Wooldridge, of
Atlanta, GA; and Ben Profitt, of Apex, N.C. earned their coveted team
spots during a qualifying competition held in Spartanburg last year
drawing more than 70 riders.
Joining the team and Rider Academy instructors were 2008 GS Trophy
Team USA champions Jimmy Lewis and Jon Beck. During classroom
sessions and outside on the course, the duo offered their first-hand
insights on what to expect in the competition.
“The thing about this competition is you never know what to
expect,” said Beck, who in addition to winning the first GS Trophy,
has attended all of the other GS Trophy events as a photographer and
journalist. “The organizers will literally invent challenges on the
fly. You have to be ready for anything.”
Rider Academy instructors included Gary Hardin and Ross McKinney, who
worked with Lewis and Beck on various riding techniques in and on mud,
dirt, sand, gravel, wood, rocks and hills.
“You need to be ready for it all,” Jimmy Lewis told the squad with an
Members of the U.S. team were grateful for the training and eager to
put their skills to the test in the upcoming competition.
“I gained valuable insight from Jon and Jimmy about their previous GS
Trophy experience,” commented Ben Profitt. “Since Jon has been to all
three events, his knowledge is tremendous. Seeing his photos and
hearing his stories helped calm my nerves about the unexpected things
that can occur. The training was incredible. The staff at the BMW
Performance Center helped our team tremendously.”
“The instructors showed us the importance of balancing the bike when
in an awkward position before trying to ride off,” added teammate
Blair Young. “We did a drill where we walked around the motorcycle
keeping only one finger on the bike. That was a real eye-opener!”
Lead instructor Schmidt anticipates the U.S. Rider Academy providing
continued support and training for future GS Trophy teams every two years.
“We have a lot to offer here in Spartanburg,” he says. “The facility
continues to expand and we have the best instructors in the country.
I’m thrilled to be working with this year’s team and look forward to
helping future teams bring home the trophy.”
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